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Part-Time Work in the Nordic Region

Part-time work, gender and economic distribution in the Nordic countries

image of Part-Time Work in the Nordic Region

Gender equality in the labour market is a key topic in the Nordic cooperation on gender equality. The Nordic Council of Ministers has asked NIKK, Nordic Information on Gender, to coordinate the project Part-Time Work in the Nordic Region. The aim of the project is to shed light on and analyse part-time work in the Nordic region, develop reports and arrange conferences. During the Swedish presidency of the Nordic Council of Ministers in 2013, the project identified how part-time work affects the economic resources of women and men. This first report presents statistics on full- and part-time work and compares the effects of part-time work on pensions in the Nordic countries. Marianne Sundström, professor of labour economics at Stockholm University, and Alma Lanninger Wennemo, Master’s student at Stockholm University, wrote the report on a request by NIKK.

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Compositional differences

In order to clarify the compositional differences between part-time workers in the Nordic countries, in this section we describe the characteristics of male and female full-time and part-time workers in Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden using data from the European Social Survey (ESS) in 2008 and 2010. We classify individuals who had paid work in the week preceding the interview, including those temporarily absent, as employees. Among these, those who had 35 or more contracted hours per week are defined as full-time workers, while those who had less than 35 contracted hours per week are defined as part-time workers, as mentioned earlier. Self-employed individuals are excluded. We focus on the key characteristics gender, age and education and limit the presentation to the age range 20–64 years except when it comes to the age distribution (Section 4.3), where for the sake of completeness we present the whole age range from 15 to 74 years. This also gives the reader a view of the size and composition of our sample.

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